Fat, Sick, Tired... And Tired of It!

I'm the first to admit my healthy eating habits are fairly new. I was the high school kid who dumped three tablespoons of white sugar on her morning Grape Nuts. I’m the college undergrad who microwaved a Velveeta-Pace Picante Salsa concoction (hurl-worthy, I know), served with a bag of Tostitos, a beer and an episode of ‘Melrose Place.’ I was the professional dancer who ate a bowl of pasta AFTER rehearsal, engaged in a continuous and futile battle to lose ‘those last five pounds.’

Eating poorly for the greater portion of my life was neither deliberate nor rebellious. It was due to ignorance, plain and simple. I unwittingly bought shiny, processed food-like products because they looked good, not because they were good for my health. I spent most of my life ‘eating blind,’ baffled and bamboozled by the food industry, and despite my countless years as an athlete, I paid the price in weight gain, low energy, chronic colds and mood swings.

BUT TIMES, THEY ARE A’ CHANGIN’!

I can safely speak for us all when I say WE ARE SO TIRED OF BEING FAT AND TIRED! We are sickened, literally and figuratively, by the rampant disease in our bodies and the bodies of our children. We are coming to recognize the immense power of food on our well-being, and taking action against those who have heretofore cared more about their fiscal margins than those of us barely surviving in the bleak margins of health..

(this, my friends, will not do.)

Food Industry Giants?  Are you listening?

YES! YOU ARE!

The 3 articles below prove that America's food industry is stepping up to the plate:

Your Healthy Habits are Eating into the Packaged Foods Industry

Brands like Kraft, Kellog Company, Chef Boyardee and Swiss Miss have all reported falling profits, some by as much as 62%, because our eating habits are changing for the better. They must adapt, or perish.

McDonald's Chicken Gets New Standard: No Human Antibiotics

The consumption of factory meat treated with human antibiotics has rendered those same antibiotics less effective in treating human disease. Although not a perfect solution, McDonald’s has taken a step in the right direction by discontinuing its use of human antibiotics in their poultry. They are also phasing out dairy products manufactured with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rGBH), which causes cows to produce higher volumes of milk at a faster rate but comes with deleterious side effects, both for the cows and us.

Nestlé USA to Remove Artificial Ingredients From Candy

Most countries in Europe have been free of artificial ingredients and colorings for years. We are just beginning to recognize the egregiously high level of synthetic colors and chemicals consumed by our children, and to understand its adverse effect on cognitive processing, concentration, hyperactivity and impulse regulation.

To wrap it up…

Am I implying that processed, packaged foods are now healthy? No.

Am I recommending you run to your nearest Micky D's and order a big helping of chicken nuggets? Uh, no.

Am I suggesting that fruit gummies are just as wholesome for our kids as real fruit, since the added color is now culled from natural sources? Nay, people.

As much as these articles reflect a positive change in our common desire to adopt a healthier American lifestyle, it is only the first step in a long journey back to our birthright. We are born to be vibrant, to possess an abundance of energy, to live a robust, disease-free and fulfilling life. We have the power to reclaim our health, but we have quite a way to go.

It is our personal responsibility to continue to push the needle by making the best nutritional decisions for ourselves and our family, setting an example the entire country can get behind.

I am simply happy that the journey has begun.

Xoxoxo - Lara

How to Lose Weight without Dieting

There’s no getting around it - weight loss is 80% what you eat and 20% how you exercise. The older I get, the less I can get away with eating junky foods and thinking I can “work off” the calories by jumping around a little extra.

Cleaning up my act requires me to clean up my food choices, and I am so excited to share my time-tested strategies so you, too, can lose weight without going on some fad “diet” science has proven just doesn’t stick.

When I need to slim down for a video shoot, when I’m prepping for a tropical vacation, or when I’ve veered off the Health Highway and need to grab the steering wheel, I use the following 14 tips that always help me lose weight without feeling deprived. With these proven nutritional strategies, I guarantee you’ll feel amazing, your body will become a superhuman fat burning machine, and did I mention weight loss?

LARA’S 14 LAWS TO LIVE BY

1. DRINK 20oz OF WATER right when you wake up - add a squeeze of lemon, a tablespoon of Grade B maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper. This mini Master Cleanse kick starts your metabolism and wakes up your digestive system.

2. DON'T DRINK CALORIES. Remove soda, sports drinks, fruit juice, alcohol, sugary coffee concoctions and added sweeteners from your diet. If you love coffee, get good quality joe at your local artisanal roaster, invest in a French Press, and drink 1 big cup in the morning, black.

(Perfect the art of mining your morning "Black Gold" with this tutorial.)

3. CONTROL YOUR ENVIRONMENT. Remove all processed and sugary foods from your cabinet. Donate or ditch the boxes, bags, cans and containers of food-like products. If it’s white, it ain’t right, so lose the pasta, white rice, refined flour & sugar, white bread, and any other food leached of its nutrients through processing.

4. EAT WHOLE FOODS. Organic fruits & vegetables, lean meats, eggs, legumes, organic yogurt, whole grains, nuts and seeds will satisfy your hunger and nourish your body!

5. BRIGHTEN YOUR PLATE WITH COLOR to get the full spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants. At each meal, vegetables should cover at least half your plate. Green is King, but yellow, orange and red veggies are awesome, too.

6. BUY ORGANIC, GRASS FED MEATS & PASTURED EGGS so you increase the pros of eating animal products (high protein content, fills you up) and reduce the cons (added hormones & antibiotics, highly acidic, less heart-healthy). Check out EAT WILD and LOCAL HARVEST for all the sustainable resources you need.

(This chicken is stoked! Happy chickens mean healthy eggs and meat.)

7. CHOOSE HEALTHY FATS to help support the brain and body’s many functions: almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, avocado, olive oil & coconut oil are great choices.

8. COOK AT HOME 5 days a week, where you can control what goes into your meals, you control portion size, and you get the satisfaction of making something delicious and nourishing, just for you. Use these inexpensive HEALTHY RECIPES and have fun!

9. BREAKFAST LIKE A KING, LUNCH LIKE A PRINCE, DINNER LIKE A PAUPER. Gradually reduce the size of your meals throughout the day. Finish a small dinner by 7pm. Make some herbal tea before bed to soothe your stomach and make you sleepy.

10. CHEW! Minimize distractions, give thanks, and chew each bite 30-40 times. Chewing promotes easier digestion, heightens flavors, and gives your body time to register when it’s full so you don’t mindlessly overeat.

11. BRUSH YOUR TEETH. If you’re not really hungry but tempted to graze, a minty fresh mouth usually crushes the craving.

12. EAT ONLY WHEN YOU'RE HUNGRY. We often eat food to avoid, distract or procrastinate. Employ the H.A.L.T. Method: Am I Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? Slow down and think about why you want to eat at this moment. If your reason is NOT hunger, write down your thoughts about why you might be using food for something other than nourishment. Often this is all it takes to re-focus.

13. SPLURGE ON A HIGH-QUALITY DARK CHOCOLATE BAR (at least 70% cacao) and eat 1 square after dinner. Dark chocolate is super healthy and enjoying a nibble every night feels like a treat!

14. BREAK A SWEAT EVERYDAY. Run, walk, bike, go to the gym, take a class, pop in one of my videos, play with your kids, dance in your living room. Get creative and move that body by doing something you enjoy!

Love "Lara’s Laws" and want more?

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Thanks for joining my Wellness Community, where we work together to take the absolute best care of ourselves, without taking it all too seriously!

Xoxoxo – Lara

Muscle Definition is About More than Just Fitness

Last week I wrote about how FORM is the key to getting the body you've always wanted. But I received several comments that asked, "But what about FOOD?"

So my next piece for MINDBODYGREEN is all about eating smarter so your muscles pop and your fat cells shrink. Some of my suggestions may surprise you:

Eat fat. Eat less meat. Eat more plants.

WHAT???

Click below to read more...

MUSCLE DEFINITION IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST FITNESS

Please LIKE it, Tweet it, Pin it, Share it, send it around your virtual community!

With gratitude, Lara